Sunday afternoon November 17, 2019, at 1:00 pm the Lawrence County Historical Society's newest exhibit will open at the History Center on the northwest corner of the Lawrenceville Square. Named Growing Aware, the spotlight will be on Lawrence County farmers. From the tools farmers would have used in the barns and fields to artifacts that women would have used in their kitchens and lives, all will be on exhibit. The local men and women who used these items have been identified in most cases.
The main focus of the exhibit is the story of the farming. As time changed so did the power necessary to plant and harvest the crops. Many photographs showing horse-drawn equipment used in the county have been enlarged and mounted. Another exhibit shown will be a special tribute to the contributions made by farm families during World War II.
Farm Bureau did much to improve the lives of farmers and their families. Since the Lawrence County Farm Bureau is celebrating their 100th anniversary, an exhibit has been created showing major contributions made by that organization. Because legislation affects farmers, the Dunseth Presidential Doll Collection with agricultural quotes made by several of the presidents adds interest to the over-all exhibit.
The important role farm wives played has not been ignored. Cooking, canning,and preparing clothes are among some of the activities featured in the exhibit. Several of the Society's autograph quilts will be on display.
To complement the exhibit, the newest publication, Growing Aware, Farming in Lawrence County, will be available for the sale. At the Sunday exhibition opening, the book may be purchased for $20.00. After Sunday, the retail price for the book will be $25.00.
This book is a collection of articles and photographs about farming and farm life in Lawrence County through the years. Now predominately corn and soybeans are raised; once hay, oats, buckwheat, and sorghum were the crops of the day. Leading the state now in turkey production and state- of- the- art feeder hog production facilities, Lawrence County raised over 15,000 sheep during the Civil War to provide wool for northern uniforms. Prairies that once grew cotton, now grow green beans and potatoes for chips. Before artificial Christmas trees, Lukin farmers not only grew the trees but pioneered the white snow-like flocking process. Driving through the countryside, one sees the remnants of osage orange hedge rows, once intentionally planted for escape-proof animal fencing. Mulberry trees now cause parked-car owners to curse the falling berries but once the mulberry leaves fed hungry silk worms. One of our high schools in the early 1900s, even operated the only student-ran dairy in the downstate. These and many other stories, as well as over 125 vintage photographs and original illustrations by Ellen White are included in this publication.
In addition to articles about livestock, implements and crops by Donna White Burton, Dan and Holly Scherer have written about Lawrenceville Greenhouses, Janet Akin Faro about Clarence Akin and the Akin Seed Company, John Hamilton about an experience with Piper's bulls, James Allison about memories of his father, Dr. Allison, Barbara Burgoon Gognat about the Burgoon Pony Farm, Larry Curry about African American farmers,Nancy King about the organization of Home Bureau, John King about the history of Farm Bureau,and Flossie Price about FFA and FHA.
Please come to the Exhibit Opening Sunday, November 17 at 1-4 p.m. Share your memories with the volunteers. Buy a book or two to support the Society. Admission is free; donations are appreciated.